Boost SERP Rankings with Improved SaaS Technical SEO

Laptop displaying SaaS technical SEO

When marketers consider SaaS SEO strategy, they usually think about on-page SEO, such as the careful research and placement of keywords in content and meta tags, and off-page SEO activities like link building and digital PR that boost the external authority signals pointing viewers to their website. With those scene-stealers grabbing the spotlight, it’s easy to devote inadequate attention to backend technical SEO – but it’s a mistake. SaaS technical SEO is an invisible process that maintains your website’s health and keeps it ranking highly on search engine results pages (SERPs) through site architecture, coding, and server optimizations.  

The experts at SEMRush say, “Technical SEO is about improving your website to make it easier for search engines to find, understand, and store your content.” Why is that valuable? The potential ramifications of poor technical SEO include inaccessible pages, lower traffic, loss of revenue, and diminished user experience. The question isn’t whether you can spare the resources to achieve better SaaS technical SEO. It’s how much longer you can wait. Keep reading for nine proven steps that any SaaS can take to drive conversions with improved technical SEO. 

Technical SEO is the practice of optimizing your website to help search engines find, crawl, understand, and index your pages. It helps increase visibility and rankings in search engines. – Ahrefs  


9 Steps to Optimize SaaS Technical SEO 

1. Conduct a Technical Evaluation

You can’t get where you need to go if you don’t know where you are. Begin your process by using a tool such as SEMRush or Screaming Frog to conduct a thorough technical evaluation of your website. It will be a useful starting point, but it’s not comprehensive. The next step is to identify areas for improved SaaS technical SEO. At a minimum, you’ll want to understand the current status of each of the following: 

  • Crawlability: Are search engines able to access and index all the important pages on your site? 
  • Site Structure: Does your site have a clear and logical hierarchy that aids both navigation and indexing? 
  • Page Speed: How quickly do your pages load on various devices, and what can be done to improve these times?  
  • Security: What measures have you implemented to secure your website, and how do you regularly update these for maximum protection?  
  • Discoverability: Are there elements on your site, like metadata or structured data, that could be optimized to enhance visibility? 
  • Mobile-Friendliness: Is your website fully optimized for mobile users, and how does it perform on different mobile devices? 
  • Broken Links: When was the last time you checked for broken links, and do you have a system in place to quickly fix them? 
  • Image File Quality: Are your images optimized for fast loading without losing quality, and are they appropriately tagged? 


2. Improve Site Structure

Implement a logical hierarchy that enhances both user navigation and search engine crawling. Organizing your content and pages in a clear and intuitive manner will improve site indexing by search engines. Easier browsing will also boost user satisfaction, as a streamlined structure supports a better user experience. Be sure to consider internal linking when optimizing your SaaS technical SEO. Link important pages to one another, and add internal links to your footer as well. 


Improving site structure


3. Secure Your Website

Google and other search engines favor secure websites, often giving them a ranking boost in search results. Keep your website secure with these recommended steps from the Bay Leaf Digital team: 

  • Update and Patch Systems: Keep underlying systems, like CMS (Content Management System), servers, and plugins, up to date. Fix vulnerabilities with the security patches that are typically included in these updates. 
  • Use HTTPS: Transition to HTTPS to secure the connections between your website and its users. Use headers like X-Frame-Options, X-XSS-Protection, and X-Content-Type-Options to protect your site from clickjacking, cross-site scripting, and other code injection attacks. 
  • Secure Your Server: Use firewalls and intrusion detection systems. Monitor regularly for any suspicious activity. 
  • Control Access: Employ strong username and password policies. Limit login attempts and use two-factor authentication (2FA) to enhance security. 
  • Implement Content Security Policy (CSP): Prevent XSS (Cross-Site Scripting) attacks by controlling the resources allowed to load on your webpage. 
  • Update robots.txt and .htaccess Files:  Prevent unintended access and data leaks by regularly reviewing and updating these files to manage crawler access and secure sensitive directories. Manage complex redirect rules through .htaccess. 
  • Secure Data with Backups: Regularly back up your website’s data and store backups securely. 
  • Monitor and Audit Logs: Check security logs often. Set up alerts for unusual access patterns or unauthorized access attempts. 
  • Restrict File Uploads: If your site allows file uploads, scan files for malware and limit file types. 
  • Secure APIs: Implement proper authentication and limit data exposure through APIs. 
  • Limit User Data Exposure: Keep users as secure as you keep yourself. Implement data minimization and ensure that user data is not accessible through simple URL manipulations. 


4. Optimize for Mobile

Worldwide, over 54% of internet usage takes place on mobile devices. A mobile-friendly design is no longer a luxury; it’s a necessity. Optimizing your site for mobile use is a critical component of SaaS technical SEO that results in higher mobile search ranking, better user engagement, and increased opportunities.  Ensure that any mobile versions of your website or mobile apps follow security best practices. Regular updates and security checks should be extended to all mobile platforms. 


5. Enhance Load Speed

Back in 2010, Google announced that site speed would be a ranking factor, and search engines aren’t the only ones who care. Calculating data from nearly 500 companies, Databox determined that the median duration of a visit to a B2B website was 77.61 seconds. For SaaS landing pages, it’s even shorter – only 35 seconds. That doesn’t give you much time to make a great first impression. Don’t waste any of it on slow load speed. A sluggish website often results in a high bounce rate. Users depart quickly and without further exploration. This high bounce rate can signal to search engines that your site doesn’t deliver the content that users need, potentially lowering your rankings.

Conversely, pages that load quickly tend to retain user engagement, leading to extended dwell times, which improves SERP rankings. Begin by evaluating site speed with a tool like Google’s PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix, or Pingdom, then take steps to improve it such as choosing a great host, caching content, and balancing the overall load.  


6. Add XML Sitemaps and robots.txt Files

XML Sitemaps provide a roadmap for search engines to efficiently discover and index important pages, while Robots.txt files guide them on which parts to avoid, such as duplicate or irrelevant content. To implement, generate an XML Sitemap using a tool such as Yoast or RankMath, upload it to your site’s root directory, and submit it via a search console such as Google, Bing, or Yandex. Create the robots.txt file, place it in the top-level directory, and ensure its correctness with Google’s tester. This approach will streamline search engine interactions and improve site visibility 


7. Implement Structured Data Markup

Help search engines display your site more effectively in search results by providing them with explicit clues about the meaning of your page’s content with markup. This structured data helps create rich snippets such as star ratings, product information, or event times directly in the SERPs, making your listings more attractive and informative to potential visitors. To use markup, select the most relevant schema type for your content, embed the necessary JSON-LD code in your webpage, and test it with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to ensure it is implemented correctly.  


8. Manage Error Pages

Contribute to better SEO outcomes with a robust and error-free website. 404 pages, which appear when a user tries to access a non-existent page, should be customized to guide users back to useful content and encourage further engagement. Fix or redirect broken links to prevent visitors from encountering dead ends, which can cause frustration and negatively impact your site’s credibility. These practices strengthen the integrity and user-friendliness of your site while sending more favorable signals to search engines.  


9. Optimize Images

Balancing image quality with file size leads to faster loading times and enhanced SEO. Reduce file size without significantly compromising quality by compressing image files. Use formats like JPEG for photographs and PNG for graphics with fewer colors. Consider further improving page load speed and user experience with responsive images that adjust to different screen sizes.  


SaaS Technical SEO is a Core Pillar to Improved SERP Rankings

Skilled marketers understand the value of SERP rankings, and they understand the critical importance of delighting website visitors. They leverage all three pillars of SEO – on-site, off-site, and technical – to accomplish their goals.  

Would your company benefit from comprehensive, expert assistance in evaluating, strategizing, and executing SaaS technical SEO to boost your online presence? Contact Bay Leaf Digital today. 

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Author Profile
Terry Wolfisch
Terry Wolfisch Cole
Terry is a marketing content manager at Bay Leaf Digital. She holds degrees in writing from Binghamton University and New York University, and brings decades of sales and marketing experience to her work. Terry puts words to work for Bay Leaf Digital clients, generating long-form and short-form content across platforms. When she’s not at her desk creating awesome content, you can find her telling Moth-style true stories on stage or chasing her next Bruce Springsteen concert.